The Varsity Basketball tournament concluded weekend 1 of 2, with a titanic battle between two old foes the hosts’ Wits University and the University of Johannesburg at the Old Mutual Sports Hall.
Both Wits and UJ had enjoyed a good run so far in the tournament, going unbeaten in all three of their previous games. Wits were however the slight favourites going into the derby, but in derbies the ‘favourites’ tags usually fly out the window, with it all boiling down to what happens on the day.
What did transpire in the game between the two in-form sides, was that it was the hosts who started out the better of the two, bagging the first points off a lay up. From there onwards it was end to end stuff that kept the supporters at the edge of their seats. The quarter did eventually end with UJ up by just 1 point.
When the second quarter began, things seemed to settle down at it was Wits who got the ball rolling again, forcing UJ to commit fouls that lead to points, which were often bagged. Angelo Quinn was like a man on fire for Wits, freely going for the three-pointers, which he landed on two occasions. UJ on the other end were still going at it, with Nathan Baruti stepping up and bagging his two-pointer attempts which at the break weren’t enough with Wits leading 38-31.
The third quarter was very lively with both sides playing at a very swift pace, with Wits still remaining on top of their game. Every time UJ would score, Wits would be quick to reply, which helped them keep their lead. Both teams were however very strategic in calling for a ‘time out’, looking to throw each other off their games, at the close of the period Wits were 54-37 up with the final quarter looming.
It did eventually arrive, seeing UJ lifting their game in attack which left them vulnerable in defence. Everisto Passipamere was pivotal in defence for Wits, blocking possible lay ups from UJ’s Baruti on two occasions, and also quickly playing the ball up for a quarter attack. UJ would also at time catch Mvelo Buthelezi napping and race on to the hoop and close the deficit. In the end though, it was Wits who were superior thanks to a successful power play that saw them reign supreme, claiming the honours and Joburg bragging rights 73-49.
Wits 73-49 UJ
Wits: 4. Angelo Quinn, 5. Mvelo Buthelezi, 6. Kgaugelo Sathekge, 7. Briarley Klaasen, 8. Thamsanqa Nyawo, 9. Kgotseng Makena, 10. Clinton Meela, 11. Makoye Mapani, 12. Miguel Ferrao, 13. Everisto Passipamere, 14. David Mbamalu, 15. Kgotso Ntuane
UJ: 1. Manasse Kabasele, 2. Karabo Likotsi, 3. Gomolemo Mahuma, 8. Yves Mulwisa, 5. Mpumelelo Mahlati, 9. Sikhumbuzo Mthembu, 10. Peace Famudimo, 11. Nqosa Lehloenya, 12. Zett Mutongoza, 13. Trystan Speck, 14. Nathan Baruti, 15. Lance Chikore
By S’fiso Nyawo